Screening: Daniel Tucker presents "Local Control: Karl Hess in the World of Ideas"

Tuesday October 8, 7:00PM

@ Red Emma's

A screening and Q&A with filmmaker Daniel Tucker of "Local Control: Karl Hess in the World of Ideas" (2018. 60 minutes)

Local Control is an experimental documentary about the political spectrum.

It has been said repeatedly that “All Politics Are Local” but what does the impulse towards controlling your own life at the local level mean to people as diverse as Jeffersonian Yeoman, Climate Change activists, Fair food advocates, Transgender anarchists and Republican speechwriters? Is local on the scale of the body, the neighborhood, or the nation?

Local Control uses the story of writer Karl Hess to propose a field of interaction between Ayn Rand, Emma Goldman, Rush Limbaugh, Abby Hoffman, Studs Terkel, Benito Mussolini, Ken Kesey, Robert Heinlein, Bob Dylan and The Black Panther Party. A former corporate consultant and speechwriter for Barry Goldwater, Karl Hess later joined the ranks of Students for a Democratic Society. He wrote speeches for New Left groups of the 1960s before beginning to advocate for urban agriculture and community technology, and later becoming a founding figure amongst Libertarians and survivalists. Throughout it all he promoted ideas of self-sufficiency and localism.

Traveling from Washington DC to Los Angeles and across over 50 years, this video essay introduces Hess’ family and interviews with political authors Cindy Milstein, Charles Murray, Raj Patel and Rick Perlstein, and is also interspersed with clips from mainstream news outlets, online personalities and Hess devotees.

In a time where our map of ideas has been turned on its head, this mediation on individualism and collectivism considers conventional categories of Right and Left while introducing surprising new ones to help us to consider where we are now.



Daniel Tucker works as an artist, writer and organizer developing documentaries, publications, exhibitions and events inspired by his interest in social movements and the people and places from which they emerge. His writings and lectures on the intersections of art and politics and his collaborative art projects have been published and presented widely and are documented on the archive miscprojects.com.

Working across diverse media, recurring forms have included mapping, printedmatter, video and interviewing. Between 2005-2010 he founded and edited the publication AREA Chicago and from 2010-2015 he collaborated with Rebecca Zorach on the archiving and curatorial project Never The Same. In 2015 Tucker completed the feature-length video essay Future Perfect: Time Capsules in Reagan Country and has recently completed a followup video Local Control: Karl Hess in the World of Ideas (2018).  Both works are concerned with developing a critical understanding of the right-wing imagination and are followed up by a new project, Little Wars, which is currently in development with collaborator Rosten Woo. See politicalspectrum.info for a portfolio of these recent studio projects.

He has an active public-program and exhibition curating practice, and has organized exhibitions, publications and events for national organizations such as Creative Time, Alliance of Media Arts and Culture, Common Field and numerous community and university art centers, galleries and museums. In 2016 he curated the exhibition and event series Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements which is presently on a national tour of 9 cities until fall of 2019. He is a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership program, earned his MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently an Assistant Professor and founding Graduate Program Director in Socially-Engaged Art at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia where he lives with his wife Emily Bunker.

More upcoming events

@ Red Emma's

A deep dive—in lo-fi comic form—into the cognitive logics of right wing violence and mass media complicity.

@ Red Emma's

In this book, Ashanté M. Reese makes clear the structural forces that determine food access in urban areas, highlighting Black residents’ navigation of and resistance to unequal food distribution systems. Linking these local food issues to the national problem of systemic racism, Reese examines the history of the majority-Black Deanwood neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, Reese not only documents racism and residential segregation in the nation’s capital but also tracks the ways transnational food corporations have shaped food availability. By connecting community members’ stories to the larger issues of racism and gentrification, Reese shows there are hundreds of Deanwoods across the country.

Reese’s geographies of self-reliance offer an alternative to models that depict Black residents as lacking agency, demonstrating how an ethnographically grounded study can locate and amplify nuances in how Black life unfolds within the context of unequal food access.

@ Red Emma's

With a special acoustic set by Rwanda's The Good Ones!  

Popular culture has woven itself into the social fabric of our lives, penetrating people’s homes and haunting their psyches through images and earworm hooks. Justice, at most levels, is something the average citizen may have little influence upon, leaving us feeling helpless and complacent. But pop music is a neglected arena where concrete change can occur—by exercising active and thoughtful choices to reject the low-hanging, omnipresent corporate fruit, we begin to rebalance the world, one engaged listener at a time.

Silenced by Sound: The Music Meritocracy Myth is a powerful exploration of the challenges facing art, music, and media in the digital era. With his fifth book, producer, activist, and author Ian Brennan delves deep into his personal story to address the inequity of distribution in the arts globally. Brennan challenges music industry tycoons by skillfully demonstrating that there are millions of talented people around the world far more gifted than the superstars for whom billions of dollars are spent to promote the delusion that they have been blessed with unique genius.

We are invited to accompany the author on his travels, finding and recording music from some of the world’s most marginalized peoples. In the breathtaking range of this book, our preconceived notions of art are challenged by musicians from South Sudan to Kosovo, as Brennan lucidly details his experiences recording music by the Tanzania Albinism Collective, the Zomba Prison Project, a “witch camp” in Ghana, the Vietnamese war veterans of Hanoi Masters, the Malawi Mouse Boys, the Canary Island whistlers, genocide survivors in both Cambodia and Rwanda, and more.

Silenced by Sound is defined by muscular, terse, and poetic verse, and a nonlinear format rife with how-to tips and anecdotes. The narrative is driven and made corporeal via the author’s ongoing field-recording chronicles, his memoir-like reveries, and the striking photographs that accompany these projects.

After reading it, you’ll never hear quite the same again.



With Reverend Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr. of Union Baptist Church!

In A Brotherhood of Liberty, Dennis Patrick Halpin shifts the focus of the black freedom struggle from the Deep South to argue that Baltimore is key to understanding the trajectory of civil rights in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the 1870s and early 1880s, a dynamic group of black political leaders migrated to Baltimore from rural Virginia and Maryland. These activists, mostly former slaves who subsequently trained in the ministry, pushed Baltimore to fulfill Reconstruction's promise of racial equality. In doing so, they were part of a larger effort among African Americans to create new forms of black politics by founding churches, starting businesses, establishing community centers, and creating newspapers. Black Baltimoreans successfully challenged Jim Crow regulations on public transit, in the courts, in the voting booth, and on the streets of residential neighborhoods. They formed some of the nation's earliest civil rights organizations, including the United Mutual Brotherhood of Liberty, to define their own freedom in the period after the Civil War.

Halpin shows how black Baltimoreans' successes prompted segregationists to reformulate their tactics. He examines how segregationists countered activists' victories by using Progressive Era concerns over urban order and corruption to criminalize and disenfranchise African Americans. Indeed, he argues the Progressive Era was crucial in establishing the racialized carceral state of the twentieth-century United States. Tracing the civil rights victories scored by black Baltimoreans that inspired activists throughout the nation and subsequent generations, A Brotherhood of Liberty highlights the strategies that can continue to be useful today, as well as the challenges that may be faced.


From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity.

Benjamin argues that automation, far from being a sinister story of racist programmers scheming on the dark web, has the potential to hide, speed up, and deepen discrimination while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to the racism of a previous era. Presenting the concept of the “New Jim Code,” she shows how a range of discriminatory designs encode inequity by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies; by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions; or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. Moreover, she makes a compelling case for race itself as a kind of technology, designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice in the architecture of everyday life.

This illuminating guide provides conceptual tools for decoding tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold but also the ones we ourselves manufacture.

@ Red Emma's

Join us as we welcome Josh MacPhee, founding member of both the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and Interference Archive, for a presentation of his new book An Encyclopedia of Political Record Labels, a collection of information about political music and radical cultural production. Focusing on vinyl records, and the labels that produced them, this groundbreaking book traces the parallel rise of social movements in the second half of the twentieth century and the vinyl record as the dominant form of music distribution. Josh will be spinning selected cuts from labels included in the book as part of the talk! 

From the Cold War through today, the U.S. has quietly assisted dozens of regimes around the world in suppressing civil unrest and securing the conditions for the smooth operation of capitalism. Casting a new light on American empire, Badges Without Borders shows, for the first time, that the very same people charged with global counterinsurgency also militarized American policing at home.

In this groundbreaking exposé, Stuart Schrader shows how the United States projected imperial power overseas through police training and technical assistance—and how this effort reverberated to shape the policing of city streets at home. Examining diverse records, from recently declassified national security and intelligence materials to police textbooks and professional magazines, Schrader reveals how U.S. police leaders envisioned the beat to be as wide as the globe and worked to put everyday policing at the core of the Cold War project of counterinsurgency. A “smoking gun” book, Badges without Borders offers a new account of the War on Crime, “law and order” politics, and global counterinsurgency, revealing the connections between foreign and domestic racial control.



How community-centered, peer-to-peer, youth knowledge exchanges are evolving into a strong economic and political foundation on which to build radical public education.

Following in the rich traditions in African American cooperative economic and educational thought, teacher-organizer Jay Gillen describes the Baltimore Algebra Project (BAP) as a youth-run cooperative enterprise in which young people direct their peers’ and their own learning for a wage. BAP and similar enterprises are creating an educational network of empowered, employed students.

Gillen argues that this is a proactive political, economic, and educational structure that builds relationships among and between students and their communities. It’s a structure that meets communal needs—material and social, economic and political—both now and in the future. Through the story of the Baltimore Algebra Project, readers will learn why youth employment is a priority, how to develop democratic norms and cultures, how to foster positive community roles for 20–30 year-olds, and how to implement educational accountability from below.

What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them?

Nicole Chung was born severely premature in the United States, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up—facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from—she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth.

With the same warmth, candor, and startling insight that has made her a beloved voice, Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.

“This book moved me to my very core. As in all her writing, Nicole Chung speaks eloquently and honestly about her own personal story, then widens her aperture to illuminate all of us. All You Can Ever Know is full of insights on race, motherhood, and family of all kinds, but what sets it apart is the compassion Chung brings to every facet of her search for identity and every person portrayed in these pages. This book should be required reading for anyone who has ever had, wanted, or found a family―which is to say, everyone.” ―Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere

"Chung’s memoir is more than a thoughtful consideration of race and heritage in America. It is the story of sisters finding each other, overcoming bureaucracy, abuse, separation, and time." ―The New Yorker